Monty Python confirms first live stage show since 1980

Monty Python announces reunion
Monty Python announces reunion

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Story highlights

  • Surviving Monty Python stars to reunite for a show in London next July
  • Tickets will go on sale on Monday, priced from £27
  • John Cleese says show will have some new material, but many old bits
  • Monty Python troups produced 45 TV episodes and five feature films

It's confirmed: Monty Python isn't quite dead yet -- unlike the Norwegian Blue parrot featured in a famous sketch.

The British comedy troupe will perform live at London's O2 arena on July 1 -- the five surviving stars' first show on stage together since appearing at the Hollywood Bowl in September 1980, the group announced Thursday.

Tickets will go on sale on Monday, priced between £27 ($43) and £90 ($145), with further details expected to be announced on the troupe's website montyphythonlive.com.

Member John Cleese said at a news conference Thursday that the show will have some new material, but it will have many old bits -- some featured in perhaps new ways -- that fans will expect.

"I remember going to the Royal Albert Hall and seeing Neil Diamond where he got booed in the second half for singing new numbers. People really do want to see the old hits, but we don't want to do them exactly in a predictable way, so it's going to be a mix-up, I think," Cleese said.

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Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and the late Graham Chapman became comedic legends with the creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus in October 1969. They produced 45 TV episodes for the BBC and five feature films together before going their separate ways in 1983.

The shows mostly consisted of a string of barely coherent sketches, often lacking conventional punch lines and loosely tied together by Gilliam's stream of consciousness animations.

Although the TV show ran for only four seasons, it proved a massive cult hit when it was shown in the United States beginning in 1974 -- just as the show was winding up on the other side of the Atlantic.

The five survivors have a combined age of 357, meaning that some of the more slapstick sketches, such as The "Ministry of Silly Walks" could prove difficult for their aging bodies. But there may be more shows, "depending on how long Eric and Mike live for."

Jones paid tribute to Chapman, who died in 1989, saying, "we'll miss him a lot although he will be appearing with us on stage in films."

"We've told (Chapman) that he'll be on. If there's a God, he'll turn up," Idle added.